Tallahassee, FL - Jim Norman’s name was always going to be on the ballot, but for whom those votes would count has been up in the air since a judge found Norman failed to disclose his interest in a half million dollar house and ordered him removed from the ballot.
Attorney Barry Richard broke the news to Norman, that indeed those votes would be counted for him in a phone call just after noon.
“The point that they actually, technically reversed on was that this was not an eligibility requirement and you can’t add to the eligibility requirements of the constitution,” Richmond said. “However, they commented on the fact that it was filed late.”
In its ten page order, the court ruled the Constitution does not require full financial disclosure to be an eligible candidate.
During oral arguments Tuesday,
“He did not know that there was not substantial compliance until four days prior,” Kevim Ambler’s attorney, Gary Early, said.
the court spent a lot of time trying to understand what challenger Kevin Ambler knew about the lake house, and when. It concluded Ambler should have filed the challenge before the election.
That’s one of the lesson Barry Richard says should be learned from the case.
“I think the message here is if you want to challenge somebody and you know the facts, you need to do it in a timely fashion,” Richard said.
An appeal to the state’s highest court is possible, but unlikely.
“Right now we are evaluating the decision and considering our options on that,” Ambler attorney Mark Herron said.
And without a challenge, the sole power to discipline Norman moves from the courts to the State Senate next Tuesday, the day of the election.